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MLA Style Citations

Basic guide to create citations using MLA style.

What is MLA Style?

According to the MLA website's official definition, "MLA style is a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. For over half a century, it has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used worldwide by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses".

There are two official sources about MLA guidelines: MLA Handbook (8th. ed) and the MLA Style Center.


MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook, 8th ed. "is designed specifically for students and their teachers. It explains the principles behind citing sources, provides instruction on the MLA’s system of documentation and offers recommendations about the mechanics of scholarly writing" (Modern Language Association website). 

It is the style manual of choice primarily for research papers in arts, humanities, cultural studies, English, literature, and related study areas.  One copy is available on the Library in Reserves at the iDesk for in-library use (two hours at a time).

MLA Style Center

The MLA Style Center is the only authorized website companion to the MLA Handbook. It is a useful source to get help with:

  • Guidelines on formatting research papers
  • Answers to your questions from MLA editors
  • Citations Examples
  • Practice Template
  • Writing tips